As a modern-day millennial, you’re likely stuck with mountains of student loans, bills, and the general stresses associated with that mystical art of “adulting.” Finding a successful “side-hustle” becomes an imperative way to supplement your income without having to pick up a second job. As a self-proclaimed side-hustle artist, I have weeded through various side hustles to find the most lucrative, money-making options for 20-somethings and beyond.
Mystery Shopping – A Closer Look
Mystery shopping (also known as secret shopping) is a method of quality control for business owners. Secret shoppers are hired to evaluate a business for cleanliness, customer service, and overall efficiency. A Closer Look is an award winning international mystery shopping company. The majority of shops require shoppers 21 and above, but some shops skew younger or older. Age evaluation shops often require shoppers between the ages of 21 and 29 to ensure that restaurants and bars are checking the identification of young patrons. A Closer Look features shops at restaurants, bars, hotels, gyms, concerts, and more. Most shops only reimburse you for the amount of your visit, but many will pay you simply for performing the shop.
Clothing Resale – Poshmark
Unlike consignment shops, which will often take half of what your items are sold for, Poshmark takes only 20% of whatever your item is sold for (or $2.95…whichever is greater). You list and set the prices yourself. Shipping is included in the 20% fee, so all you need to do is print out the shipping label and plop it on the free priority mail packing materials available at USPS. Poshmark accepts men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. Earnings can be transferred directly to your bank account or you can request a check.
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – mTurk
Interersted in getting paid to help with research? Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a site powered by Amazon for non-computer related tasks. Tasks can include research studies at a university level or tasks such as flagging inappropriate images. You can sign up with an Amazon account and elect to have your earnings as an Amazon gift card or have them deposited into your bank account. While I was a student, I used my Mechanical Turk earnings to pay for all of my textbooks.
Pet Sitting – Rover
Love animals? Pet sitters are needed in your area! Rover allows pet sitters to connect with pet owners in need of canine or feline care. You set your own rates and accept jobs based on your schedule. Pet owners are in need of dog walkers, short visits, long visits, in-home, and out-of-home care. Whether you’re willing to stay at someone else’s house or would prefer to host a pet in your own home, there’s a job for you. If you’re home for the holidays or summer, you’ll see an extra boost in inquiries as people travel on vacation.
If you have a unique talent or special skill, Fiverr could be the place for you to make money from home. Fiverr is, quite literally, a site of things people will do for $5. Categories include teaching English or foreign language classes via Skype, putting up posters at local businesses, editing papers or resumes, and more.
Babysitting/Housesitting – Care
If you enjoy working with children, Care is a great place to be connected with families in your area in need of an occasional babysitter or long-term nanny. You are able to filter your requests by the ages of the children, the amount you would like to be paid, and the family’s distance from you. Care encourages to chat prior to booking a job to ensure that you are comfortable with the family, and the family is comfortable with you. Care also offers housesitting and errands for extra cash.
Have an extra room in your home you’d be willing to rent out? Travelers are looking for affordable alternatives to traditional hotels. Opening up your home not only puts money in your wallet, but offers a hospitality experience like no other. Travelers are typically from out-of-town, and your recommendations enhance their stay more than a stuffy hotel would. You name your rates and availability and can adjust accordingly based on special events taking place in your area.
Flexibility is key in finding successful side hustles. While not all of these options will fit with your schedule 24/7, the ability to name your own prices and hours is key to staying steady.